Wild Times Archive
Creature Feature: Canada Lynx

Canada Lynx

Canada lynx are a medium-sized cat with distinct long ear tufts, flared facial hair, and a black-tipped, bobbed tail. Canada lynx are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). In the 1900s their populations declined drastically due to the fur trade. Their population in the wild closely mimics that of the snowshoe hare, rising and falling in cycles. 

When food is abundant, they stay in centralized locations. In other years, they roam hundreds of kilometres away from their home ranges. They are solitary animals but form temporary bonds during mating season. 

The Edmonton Valley Zoo is home to a family of five lynxes: mom Xena, dad Sherman, one-year-old son Pishuu, and two unnamed kittens!


When full grown, lynx are approximately 60 cm (2 ft) tall, 90 cm (3 ft) long, and 8-14 kg (18-31 lbs.)

Boreal forests and mountainous areas with cold snowy winters and high populations of snowshoe hare. Found in Canada, northern United States and Alaska.

Mostly snowshoe hares but they will also eat small rodents, ground birds, and carrion. Lynx populations fluctuate dramatically.

Solitary, usually hunting and traveling alone. Lynx are not fast runners so they use cunning to hunt, often waiting hours in a hiding spot before pouncing on prey. Large, round feet support their weight on top of the snow.

Average of four kittens. 

15 – 20 years.

Cougars, wolves, coyotes. Humans are their biggest threat; trappers hunt them for their beautiful fur.